Friday, September 19, 2014

Cove Haven Poconos 2014

We got there around 9:30 a.m., so of course, our room wasn't ready. We didn't expect it to be. Off to the dining room for breakfast. There we dug into some scumptious foods from the buffett table. Wayne went up for seconds and came back with a large cereal bowl full of bacon. I'm not kidding. For those who know us well, you know that we eat a lot of brown rice, chicken and veggies as well as spinach salads. So when we're on vacation… Oh my!
With full stomachs it was on to play time. SkiBall, ping pong, and bocci ball at the Sports Palace. I won the first game of bocci ball. Then I won the second game. Wayne is not a good loser. He said we had to play until he won. Fortunately, it only took two more games. Yes, I won the third too.

We then went to the Morris & Obie Café where I won a game of air hockey. I was on fire. But he did win the second game. We didn't have my finger and arm protectors with us, so we didn't get to do any archery. We did shoot a few baskets on the indoor court. Well, Wayne got a few in. I shot one. It took me so long, I was totally wiped out! So we decided to take it easy for awhile.
We made our way to the Lookout Lounge and had a beer overlooking beautiful Lake Wallenpaupak. Out to the outdoor bar, Tan Lines, for another beer. There was a water gun competition going on. Contestants pumped up the power water gun and tried to shoot empty beer cans off of a table. It may sound simple and maybe even boring, but it was neither. Some very competitive people were involved. We decided to just watch. Next we thought we'd soak in the indoor hot tub for awhile. We didn't stay long because there was a bingo game coming up next. Bingo? Really? It's lots of fun. There are jokes and stories and with the resort being so packed, it was sure to pay big. But alas, we were not to participate. Because just then, Wayne's phone buzzed. Our room was ready! Bingo / pool in the room? Yep, we'll skip the bingo this time.

Moving on to dinner time. We met the greatest bunch of people. Bianca and Bruce from Queens, Geneva and Mike from New Jersey, and Erma and her husband (I think his name was) John from somewhere down south. I'm not sure where, because he talked about so many places he traveled as a truck driver and so many places they visited, I forgot. Bianca's husband never said a word to us. He smiled and laughed a lot, but only spoke quietly to his wife. The rest of us sure made up for him!
John and Erma told a story about a relative who owned a tire and auto repair shop. A friend dropped by and commented on how slow business was. The owner said not to worry about it and took off for a drive. The next thing people saw seemed to be that owner driving down the road waving at everyone. In reality, he was throwing nails out onto the road. Business really picked up that day. John and Erma only learned about the story at the man's funeral. There were so many stories and so much laughter at dinner that night, I'm not sure how many hours we sat there.

After dinner, Wayne and I went to the nightclub, the Champagne Palace. The band was very good, and so was the comedian, Carole Montgomery. There was also a little game between the paid entertainers that involved people from the audience. Billy O, the CXO (Chief eXcitement Officer) asked for five women to come up to the stage. The contest: Put an Oreo cookie on your forehead and using only your facial muscles, maneuver the cookie into your mouth. And hilarity ensued. Then Billy O asked for their husbands/boyfriends to come up. They were not expecting to be called up. This game involved balloons. Each couple had to blow up and tie three balloons. They had to put one between their chests and hug until it popped. Next, one person sits on a chair and puts the balloon on his/her lap. The other person had to hop onto the balloon facing the audience to pop it. The third balloon went on the lap, but the jumper had to face the one sitting. Oh, and they were being timed. The first couple did OK. One minute and 40-some seconds. And the game went on. Did I mention that hilarity ensued? One poor girl was so thin, the chest balloon just wouldn't pop. He picked her up, chest to chest, and swung her around as her short dress flew up, exposing her undies. One of the very competitive couples from the water gun competition blasted through all three in 45 seconds. And then came the last couple. They couldn't get the balloons blown up, and when they finally did, they couldn't tie them. The whole place, including the inept couple, was in hysterics.
Day Two: As we were waiting to be seated for breakfast, Bianca came running up to us and asked if they could join us. Oh hell yeah. Bruce actually did say a few words that morning. We had a fun, laugh-filled breakfast with them and two other couples.

Although the weather forecast called for dreary weather, Mother Nature had other plans. It was hot and sunny and beautiful. So after breakfast, we went directly to the Marina to enjoy a speed boat ride. It was great! A couple we met at our first breakfast was on the boat with us.  We stopped in at the Lookout Lounge and ran into Erma and John. We talked a little and said we'd probably see them around later.

After a quick game of pool (we both suck at that), we thought we'd go to the Gift Shop. As we walked past the tables and chairs on the lawn near Tan Lines, we heard someone shout, "Debra and Wayne." Erma, Geneva and their husbands. So we sat and chatted for awhile. I was dressed a bit warm for the boat ride, so we went back up to the room to change, since the temperature was rising quickly.

With the weather so unexpectedly beautiful, we decided to spend some time at the outdoor heart-shaped pool. We filled the cooler with beer, drove down to the ice machine outside the Lounge and as Wayne got back into the car to head back up to the room to change into swim suits, he said, "I think our gang is still over there." So we walked over, and there the four of them still sat. We talked and laughed awhile. After the beer was cold enough, Wayne pulled out some cans. There was an ongoing joke from the night before about Wayne always having beer so it was quite appropriate. The guys and I had some. Erma and Geneva were fine without it.

Talk somehow turned to cigarette smoking. Wayne and I talked about when we quit. Geneva quit when she was baptized. But John had the best story. His kids asked if they could please have a smoke-free Santa. He begrudgingly agreed to go to a hypnotist's seminar. He said he really had no intention of actually quitting. But that hypnotist really knew his stuff. John never picked up another cigarette. His kids then asked if they could have a booze-free Santa. He said no way was that ever gonna happen.

We sat there for several hours, having a fun, laugh-filled time. A few times our laughter got so loud we were drawing looks from everyone around us, including the Tan Lines bartender. There were many other activities we could have been doing - scheduled games, indoor archery, and all the other included sports and games - but we were having such a good time with the four of them, why leave? Time went by and we all had to get ready for dinner. We decided we would all meet.

None of us saw Bianca and Bruce during the day to invite them to join us. We did see them walk into the dining room. They were seated near a corner of the room, and no couples were seated with them. So we decided to ask if they wanted to join us. There were two open seats at our table. It turns out Bianca wasn't feeling well, and they had requested a private seating for dinner. Her stomach was bothering her, so I gave her some OTC pills. Geneva also told her that she had Alka Seltzer in their room and freely told her their room number. We had that kind of trust among us.

 After dinner, the six of us decided to take a twilight speed boat ride. We barely made in on time, but were put on the pontoon boat instead. The last speed boat just went out. It was nice - different from the speed boat, but nice. Afterwards, we talked for awhile, exchanged contact information and everyone hugged.

Next morning, Bianca came over to say good-bye. She had my contact information and said she'll be in touch.

The evening after we arrived home, Erma called to see that we made it home OK. I texted Geneva a few days later when they were supposed to be home. We exchanged a few more pleasant texts since then. Maybe we'll keep in touch. Maybe we won't. It doesn't matter. I'm sure none of us will forget the great time we all had together at Cove Haven in the Poconos.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Self Tanner

We didn't think we were going to make our annual trip to the shore this year, so I didn't bother trying to tan my legs with sun or self tanner. Then a week before the trip we found out that we were going.

No time to sun or use a gradual self tanner, I sent for an expensive quick acting one and also paid the ridiculous cost for faster shipping.

I heard great things about this product, so I was excited. I followed the directions. It didn't mention moisturizing before or adding moisturizer to the lotion. In hind sight, it may have helped.

At first I loved it. The color was gorgeous. Then I noticed the blotches... lots of them. Because I'm so white, the blotches were very noticeable. So I tried to "fix" them, which turned into different shades of blotches. It looked ridiculously funny.

From past experience with self-tanning errors, I grabbed my Sea Breeze and started rubbing. I tried to remove the darkest mistakes. Those areas turned into light-colored errors. So now I have white streaks, beige streaks and tan streaks.

In the end it didn't look too too bad. I'll just take the advice my mom always gave me in situations like this, "Walk fast, and no one will notice."


Friday, June 27, 2014

A great day

What an incredible shopping trip we had. We went to Kmart for a blanket.  Found the perfect blanket, plus a faux mink one on sale - just for fun. We kept looking around, and as Wayne went off looking at something, I turned and saw a box on a high shelf, my hands moved to pick it up so I could look at it and I saw the entertainment stand we had been looking for and kind of forgot about. Checked the measurements, yep perfect. Then Wayne said to follow him because he found somethingIt was an ottoman. I completely forgot about needing an ottoman for the den. It was, of course, the perfect size for our needs.
We continued shopping, finding bargain after bargain of things we forgot we had been looking for. As we approached the checkout with our overflowing cart, Wayne said, "There's only one checkout open." I said quite casually and confidently, "Another one will open." I barely got the words out and a checker yelled, "I'm opening over here."
Later that day, after running out for ice cream, we drove through Kulpmont, Shamokin and on to Elysburg. Not sure how many traffic lights that is, but we got every green light. At one point, I said to Wayne, "Did we get every green light?"  He said "Yep, and there's one more yet." Sure enough, as we got closer to it, the red light turned green. 

What a day!


Winter in Pennsylvania

Most years, around the end of October, you can no longer walk out your front door without some bundling up. At least the roads and walkways are clear. The air is crisp. Not too bad. But in your heart, you know what lies ahead. 
It starts out so pretty. All white and pure, glistening in the moonlight. So pretty, indeed.
Then – it keeps coming and coming. Soon you can’t walk out the front door. You (or if you’re lucky, a spouse or paid neighbor child) have to shovel a path to your car or you’ll be trapped. 
If you have a dog in your family, that’s a whole ‘nother story. Where to potty. With several feet of that beautiful white stuff out there and short little beagle legs, where is she to go? She won’t go on the street; she won’t go on the path.  She looks up at you as if to say, “Where is my potty area, Mommy?”  More shoveling. Finally, you get a handle on it and realize it’s going to be OK. 
Oh no, more snow is coming. Another foot? Drifting? It all begins again.
And then there’s the soot, ashes, salt and cinders that the town spreads for our own safety. At the time, it’s a welcome sight. But days, weeks, months later, as the snow melts and the soot is all that’s left on the streets and sidewalks, it’s not quite that welcome. Your shoes, the dog’s feet, the floors throughout the house are all covered with the lovely black stuff. You’re constantly cleaning – your shoes, the dog’s feet, the floors. 
But it’s not over. More snow, and the whole thing begins again. This goes on for months and months, from November to March or even April. 
Finally, maybe around mid-April, you start to feel a little warmth of the sun. Not much, but enough to lift your spirits. By some time in June, you feel like it’s really Summer. Some years, you  may have to wear a sweater or jacket to sit out on the deck at night. Or you may have to fire up the chimnea, but you know it’s summer.   
Before you know it, it’s Labor Day. It’s all over. The leaves are turning beautiful colors. It’s lovely. Lovely, indeed. But you know what Autumn means. Winter is just around the corner. And it will all begin again.


An Innocent Drive to the Mall

I had to find a dress for a wedding.  A tough job as it is. We thought we’d stop at Kohl’s on the Selinsgrove Strip before hitting the mall.

There were a few open parking spots close to the store. We pulled into one, and as I started to get out of the truck, I heard a voice say, “Stay in the vehicle.” At first I thought someone was pulling in next to us and didn’t want to hit the truck door. So I leaned the door in.  The voice repeated, “Stay in the vehicle.” I looked back and saw the flashing lights.  A State Police car was parked right up on our bumper.  How in the world did I miss it?  My husband didn’t notice it either. The policeman came over to Wayne’s side and said to both of us, “Put your hands where I can see them.” We quickly slapped our hands on the dash board. He asked that we not move until backup arrived.  Backup? No problem. We were frozen with fear. 

 A second car pulled up. He then asked Wayne to “step out of the car, sir.” They finally explained that they were looking for someone driving a similar vehicle. One of them said that they realized Wayne wasn’t the perpetrator because he didn’t have a ponytail. He added, “Although your hair is almost long enough to get it into a ponytail.” I found that very funny since just that morning, I told Wayne he needed a haircut. So I yelled that out the window to the policeman. He chuckled. At that point, everyone realized we weren’t in any trouble. As the first officer was running a check on Wayne’s license, I said to Officer #2 how exciting this was, and that I wished I had my camera. He laughed and asked if I’d like him to cuff Wayne – for the Christmas newsletter. 

All this time, people were walking through the parking lot, staring at us. I really hope no one I know saw us. Imagine the stories flying through our hometown.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What Do You Do Now That You're Retired

"What do you do now that you're retired?"

I get asked this question quite a bit, and I thought about it. What do I do? I decided to list what I do (I'm an avid list-maker).
One typical day, I:
·         snuggled with the dogs for about 30 minutes (maybe more)
·         made the bed, threw on some clothes and had some breakfast
·         put on my makeup - with the dogs right there with me
·         snuggled with the dogs for about 30 minutes (maybe more)
·         surfed the net and sent an email or two; sometimes I do some writing
·         went upstairs to clean the bathroom
·         Kinder ran up after me and jumped on the bed, so I snuggled with him for about 30 minutes (maybe more)
·         cleaned the bathroom
·         came downstairs and cleaned the half-bath
·         snuggled with the dogs for about 30 minutes (maybe more)
·         took the cat, Sassy, on an "ups-a-daisy" walk around the house (takes about 15-20 minutes)
·         decided to type up this list
And it's about time for lunch. J
·         did some dishes by hand!
·         snuggled with the dogs for about 30 minutes (maybe more)
·         ran the swivel sweeper to pick up all the newly blowing tumble weeds of dog hair
·         took Sheila to the vet for her yearly checkup
On another typical day, I:
·         snuggled with the dogs for about 30 minutes (maybe more)
·         threw a load of wash in
·         made the bed, threw on some clothes and had a light breakfast
·         put on my makeup - with the dogs right there with me
·         hung the laundry out on the clothes line
·         hit the gym (good girl)
·         had a light snack
·         snuggled with the dogs for about 30 minutes (maybe more) They missed me!
·         did some ironing
Lunch time.
·         washed a few windows - the ones the dogs decorate with their nose art
·         cleaned under radiators, etc., where all the dust and dog hair gathers
·         took the dogs for theirs walks, one at a time (they don't behave when they go together)
·         took Sassy on an outside walk, with her tiny little leash (she loves to watch the water trickle in the creek behind our house)
After I typed up my list, I realized that I wouldn't have much to do if it weren't for my dogs and cat - mostly the dogs. And ya know what? I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Car Keys

The employee shuttle was pulling up, so I quickly grabbed my umbrella and bag and ran to catch it. I got the feeling that in my haste, I may have left my keys in the car. I searched my bag.  They weren’t in there. When I got into work, I toyed with the idea of taking the shuttle back out to find them but decided against it. It’s not a new car. It’s in an employee parking lot. What can happen, right? But then I thought, “What if I dropped them while running for the bus, and someone found them and turned them in somewhere. Or what if they got kicked under someone else’s car.”  I called my husband, who works at the same place, and he brought his key to me, so at least I’d have a way of starting the car to get home. We would deal with the lost keys later.

The day ended, and I rode the bus out to the parking lot. While walking to my car I searched the ground looking for my keys. Nothing. As I got closer, I started hearing a low rumbling humming sound. I thought, “Is that… did I… No, it couldn’t be.” Yep, my car was running. I not only left the keys in the ignition, I actually never turned the car off. At first I panicked. I quickly turned it off to let it cool down. I waited, calmed myself and turned the ignition. Except for missing about a half tank of gas, everything seemed OK. My original thought was to keep this to myself. I’d be too embarrassed to tell anyone about it, especially my husband. But the more I thought about it, the funnier it seemed. What kind of idiot leaves their car running for eight and a half hours. I started laughing at myself and then couldn’t wait to tell everyone. I posted it on FaceBook, called my friends. Everyone had a good laugh. Well, everyone except my husband. When I told him, he looked at me like I just told him I decided to cut off my left leg just for fun. He was quiet for a very long time. Eventually, he got over it. But I don’t think he ever laughed about it.